Ten names, these are a start:
134. Like the prophet Jonah, we are constantly tempted to flee to a safe haven. It can have many names:
- living in a little world,
- the rejection of new ideas and approaches,
- hiding behind rules and regulations.
We can resist leaving behind a familiar and easy way of doing things. Yet the challenges involved can be like the storm, the whale, the worm that dried the gourd plant, or the wind and sun that burned Jonah’s head. For us, as for him, they can serve to bring us back to the God of tenderness, who invites us to set out ever anew on our journey.
Jesus preached on the sign of Jonah. The message may resonate for us today. He didn’t want to go to a foreign land. Few places are more foreign than opposites on the ideological spectrum. Likewise across the divides of race, class, ethnicity–not just geography.
Jonah’s mission was successful, but he had hoped for the receptivity of his own people–that is, none. However we view our God-given tasks, even if we are unfaithful, God is prepared to renew the call and help us begin again.